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since 30/11/-0001


The Body Shop Seaweed and Peony Conditioner 04/11/2004

It didn't do me any good nor harm

The Body Shop Seaweed and Peony Conditioner I requested this to be added to the Ciao category, so I thought I better write this even though the product has been discontinued. I bought this conditioner, together with the Body Shop's Seaweed and Peony shampoo, with the impression that the combination was going to improve the condition of my hair. The review of the shampoo was written long ago while I have been dragging my feet about writing this one. Since writing this, I found that this product has been discontinued by The Body Shop. And so I hope, in perpetual, it will not be back to haunt the likes of me. Enclosed in your typical Body Shop plastic bottle. Not elegant, a bit on the cheap side but it definitely gives the impression of recyclability. Mine was 250 ml. Larger bottle was available then. The reason for buying this conditioner is the promise of strengthened hair. Not that I want to use my hair to tie things with, but I wanted my hair to stop falling. The main ingredients that was supposed to accomplish this were Seaweed and Peony. We all know what seaweed is and Peony is from the family of Paeonia, characterized by flowers with lots of stamens and pistils. The conditioner itself is light green in colour. Thicker than the shampoo, it oozes slowly out of the bottle. It is lightly fragrant. If you do not put an effort into smelling it, you will miss it completely. For example, whenever I used the tree tea and mint shower gel, this conditioner is completely overwhelmed by it, or I should say, my ...

Cafe du Monde (New Orleans) 16/07/2004

Cafe of My World

Cafe du Monde (New Orleans) In case anyone complains that this should be in the cafe category, I had asked for this to be created in a new cafe category for New Orleans. Unfortunately, this has not happened. I don't know what to do ... anyway, onward with the story ... Cafe du Monde ... is a famous landmark in New Orleans. Ask anyone there. It was in the movie Runaway Jury starring both John Cusack and Rachel Weisz. It has served as a turning point of my life and I thought I'll share this little cafe with you. Extremely Short History --------------- -------- The original Cafe du Monde was started by Fred Koeniger in 1862. In 1942, it was bought be the Fernandez Family. Til this day, it is still owned by the Fernandez family and Cafe du Monde serves their infamous coffee and beignets in the original coffee stand in the French Market area of New Orleans. The building itself, is historic. Built in 1813 to replace a previous one which was destroyed by hurricane. Before it became the coffee stand as it is today, it was the Butcher's Market. What they serve --------------- Coffee of course! But Cafe du Monde is famous for two specialties; their coffee and beignets. First, lets discuss the coffee. I've only tried their black coffee, made especially strong for me, while my husband's usual is the cappuccino. Their blend of coffee includes chicory. Now, according to Cafe du Monde, chicory is the root of a type of lettuce. They take the root, have it roasted and grounded before adding it to ...

McVitie´s Digestives 06/06/2004

Some digestives with your tea, Madam?

McVitie´s Digestives Have you ever gone through a phase where you find yourself munching biscuits everyday? Or maybe you find you cannot go through a day without that pack of crisps? I am going through that phase right now. Not with crisps, mind you, but my weakness is for that pack of McVities digestives. "Why, of all failures, does it have to be those biscuits? They look so plain and wholesome?" You ask? "Well," I replied, "I just love them." The packaging, I admit, is not your fancy all colourful and all dancing shining wrapper that cries out to you while you walk past it in the shopping aisle. Bright, yes, in reddish orange with the words "McV" for McVities, The Original Digestive in large bold words. While unwrapping them, a couple will fall out, in their eager to leave their neighbours in the tightly rolled packed of biscuits. They do not look all that appetizing. Round and brown, with the words "McVitie's, the original" branded on the surface of it, not as scrumptious looking as say, George Clooney. Take a bite, and be prepared to be assaulted in that first mouthful. The crunch, while not as hard as a plain Jacob's cracker, is not as soft as soggy toast. Somewhat in between the two extremes, McVities have found that ultimate crunch that is not too hard nor too soft, but just nice to let you know that, you have taken your first bite. The biscuit, falls apart slowly in your mouth and that hunger that you have been feeling suddenly dissolves into ... nothing. All is forgotten ...

Sharp Actius MM10 11/05/2004

Sharp for squirt

Sharp Actius MM10 I am sitting here in the library typing out a review on one of my latest acquisitions, namely a notebook. Not just any notebook, but the Sharp's Actius MM10 or in the UK, it might be the MM100. I bought this little baby while in the US about a year ago and it has accompanied me since then on all the trips I've taken. It is safe to say that so far, this machine has managed to accomplished all that I needed it to do, well almost all but a little bit of that later. Configuration of Notebook by virtue of importance IMHO 1. Weight This little thing is less than 1 kilogram or 2.1 pounds according to the little sticker on my notebook. I have weighed this on a scale at the airport, to the amusement of the crew at the check-in counter. I do not see the point of lugging a computer the weight of an Encyclopedia. And this suits my needs very well. Something small, light and fits in my handbag! 2. Size Did I mention the size? It is less then A4 in both length and width and in thickness, it is at most 2 cm thick. Fantastic, isn't it? 3. Battery Life Ah, how long it last. Running on battery, this notebook will last me approximately 2 hours under intense surfing and emailing. It is supposed to last 2.9 hours but that only happens if I have one text based editor with nothing going on in the background. I usually have the internet radio on while I surf the net or when I'm writing, so battery consumption is high when I am using this. Sharp sells an extended battery pack for ...

Four Pillars Hotels, Oxford Spires (Oxford) 26/04/2004

Pampered in Oxfordshire

Four Pillars Hotels, Oxford Spires (Oxford) Have you ever had one of those days when you wanted to drop everything, jumped into your car and go away? To go anywhere but stay here? I did. So what I did was to jumped onto the internet first and search for some deals. By chance, I saw Oxford's Four Pillars and booked it. It was for 3 nights, arriving on Saturday. The price was 89 pounds for the first night and 69 pounds per night per room for the subsequent two nights, including breakfast. I called the given number and booked immediately with Laterooms. Armed with the confirmation details, I informed my husband about his enforced vacation!:) By Saturday, I had dragged my husband into the car and we were off to a long weekend break in Oxford. Arriving in the afternoon, we found the hotel full of guests. It was as if they had a reception of some form, lots of people in the bar area, spilling out into the courtyard and tons of children running around screaming ... you get the picture. Location The Four Pillars Oxford Spires is located within walking distance to the city centre of Oxford. It is along Abingdon road and while we were there, there were major road works and the traffic into and out of the city was really bad. Please do not confuse the Oxford Spires with the Abingdon Four Pillars which is in Abingdon on Marcham Road. I selected the Spires because there is a path from the hotel that leads to the pathway along the River Thames. On most mornings and evenings, it is a very peaceful and ...

Google Mail ( 16/04/2004

The jury is still out for this new email system.

Google Mail ( I have just been invited by a friend to try out a new email service by Google. Yes, you saw rightly, Google, the beloved search engine, who according to one of the latest BBC report, dominates 50% of the market share in internet searches. Registration = Once invited to join, registering was very simple. Follow the link in the invitation email took me to the email account creation page of Gmail. Type in a first name, last name and desired login name which must be at least 6 characters long. The default gmail login name is the concatenation of the first and last names, namely Other login names are possible and there is a button to click on to find if the desired name is still available. Can you imagine squirt to be taken? No, of course not. Who in their right mind would want it? I was happy to find that my preferred choice was still available. I was then asked to either select a secret question from the default list or provide my own secret question and answer. They state that the question will be asked if I forget my password. So, I can provide my own naughty question and only me knows the answer ... hehehe I had the option to provide a secondary email address. I supposed they could send my password there if I ever forget. Then a click on the "I have read and agree to the Terms of use. Create my account" button and voila, I am done. Compared to both Yahoo mail and Hotmail, the registering process is so much simpler. I was only required to ...

Immac Hair Removal Spray On Mousse 28/03/2004

Painless and Easy does it.

Immac Hair Removal Spray On Mousse I consider hair removal a chore, like house cleaning. I mean, if women were meant to go around with hairless legs, why were we created with hairy legs? So someone can invent hair removal mousse, you silly girl! Yeap, I saw that coming! Which brings me to this topic of hair removal mousse. Ever since I discovered a tube of depilatory cream in my mother's cabinet, I have been curious enough to try to remove those ugly hair on my legs. I have tried shaving, which I found to be painful sometimes, due to my inability to shave. Depilatory cream works well, on half a leg and I am reduced to shaving the other half. Did I mention I have stubborn hair, just like the person it is attached to? And then I discovered the Veet hair removal spray on mousse, formerly known as Immac. Its a spray can of 200 ml, costing me around 4.75 pounds in Tesco. My can contains Aloe Vera, supposedly leaving my skin moisturised, soft and smooth. For this price, the can comes with a little yellow sponge which is stuck to the inside of the cap. So far, I've collected three of these. With this new product, all I need to do is spray the mousee all over my hairy legs, wait less than 10 minutes, and remove all under running water. Easy does it! What do I like best about the product? * Its quick and easy to use. * Gives me the result of smooth hairless legs within 10 minutes. * Only need to repeat process once a fortnight. What don't I like about the product? * In using my second can, I ...

Singapore Airlines - SIA 01/03/2004

Singapore Airline Crap

Singapore Airlines - SIA As many of you know, I am a frequent flyer on several of the major airlines. My travels have taken me to many parts of the world on several different airlines, some good, some bad, some not worth mentioning. This is an extremely long review. So, you have been warned! Personal History = The last time I flew with Singapore Airlines (SIA) was more than 10 years ago. On that fateful flight, the plane was delayed many hours, due to 'unforeseen technical problems'. They boarded , and unboarded (alighted) us many many times and did not even have the courtesy to provide the passengers with refreshments. On top of the delays, there was the food poisoning incident when I flew with them from Hong Kong to Singapore. Did I mention they are also part of the Star Alliance? Earlier last year, I wrote about Air Canada and how awful the service was. I also mentioned that they were one of the worse airline I had ever flown with. Fail not, Singapore airline has topped the worse airline I have ever flown with, with some qualification that is, from a developed country. Check in and reconfirmation At the check-in counter, customer service of Singapore airline happily informed us that for some 'strange' reasons, they had cancelled our tickets to Melbourne from Singapore. They had absolutely no idea why. When they tried to rebook us on the same flight, they found out that there was a waiting list of more than 30 people and were unable to put us back on the flight. Do you want to know ...

My Ciao'ing 06/02/2004

My say about myself

My Ciao'ing Thanks ElizaF for this challenge. Once again, I find myself reading about everyone and feeling left out! So here goes my response ... 1. Full name: Withheld for security reasons. Suffice to say initial is C, family name starts with an N. 2. Ciao Username: petitesquirt 3. Date when you joined the Ciao community: Le me check ...13th Nov 2002. A little over one year old. 4. Why did you join Ciao? I was looking for a site to contribute some writing. Then, I was recently retired and wanted to do something not related to my previous work and something that I actually enjoy. 5. Are you a member of any other review sites? I hunted around a bit, registered with epinions but got a bit frightened off and saw Ciao by chance. Never looked back since. 6. Reviews written to date: 52 including this one. 7. How many ops/reviews do you write in average a week? I am trying to write one per week, thus far, failing by a bit. 8. How long does it take you on average to write an op? That depends on the review I am writing and my mood. When inspired, around 30 minutes for a good op. On a bad day, it can be up to 2 hours. Some reviews take longer. Travel ops tend to take longer, while I research some of the background, look up relevant sites etc. 9. How would you describe your writing style for ops? Once again, this depends on my mood. Sometimes humourous, sometimes sad and at times angry. Hopefully most times, clear, concise and a joy to ...

The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring (DVD) 29/01/2004

For they are a bunch of good fellas!

The Lord Of The Rings - The Fellowship Of The Ring (DVD) The haunting voice of Cate Blanchett provided the setting for this film. She presented the story of the creation, disappearance and finally the discovery of that 'evil' ring. Not having read the book, I was not too enthusiastic about watching the film. Nor am I a fan of scifi, fantasy nor the violence I associated with the film. Thus far for the past few years, I had refused to watch this at the cinema. It wasn't until the final installment of the trilogy was I persuaded to watch this on DVD before watching the last part of the trilogy. I was greatly surprised by its effect on me. Synopsis As mentioned before, the haunting voice of Cate set the scene for us, provided us with the history of the all powerful ring, where it is currently held by Bilbo Baggins, a very old but adventurous hobbit. Owning the ring had kept him young looking but felt his age no doubt. He decided to leave his village and left everything to his nephew Frodo Baggins. Unfortunately, this coincided with the strengthening of the dark evil force who had been looking for his ring. The movie continued with Frodo's escape from the village to avoid the dark riders, his adventures on the road meeting with the different races of wizards, elves, men as well as creatures, both good and evil. Verdict = Despite the fantasy nature of the film, it is full of the classical twists and turns of human relationships, their friendship, love, hatred, ignorance, distrust and greed of one another. The film's ...

Hotel Multatuli, Amsterdam 20/01/2004

Multatuli, who?

Hotel Multatuli, Amsterdam The Multatuli hotel is located very close to the Amsterdam Centraal(Central spelt dutch way) station. From the station, it is only about a 5 minutes walk at a reasonably pace. Easily located, its between a restaurant and a home grown (magic mushroom) weed company! Can't miss it! Reception was up a flight of steps. There was a breakfast room to the left but we did not see a bar nor a restuarant. Checking into the hotel was very easy. Mentioned my name, a lookup on their computer, a swipe of the credit card, and we were provided with our key as well as a map of the city. The reception also spoke to us about breakfast, the cost of a remote control, and the key to the safe deposit box in the room. Once complete, we were directed to our room, which we found after taking a few turns and up a few stairs. Room = The room was reasonably small, around 5 by 3 metres. I suppose that is a reasonable size by European standard. The room is quite well lit, with wall lamps around the room and two ceiling lights. There is a desk, two bedside tables, a cupboard in the corner, telephone, and of course the all important bed. Above the bed is the air-conditioner and there is a wall heater next to the window. Now this cupboard is only about 50 cms wide and less then a metre deep and around 2 metres high. There are only 2 shelves in it. The top shelf is taken by a safe while the bottom contain a few hangers. For a short stay, I should think this cupboard is more than sufficient. But ...

St. James's Park, London 05/11/2003

My walk in the park

St. James's Park, London One of the few things I enjoy while in London is relaxing in St. James park. This is one of the few places where I find relaxing in the midst of a fast-paced, noisy yet exciting city. To me, St. James is the Eden of peace, amidst the chaos and frustration that accompanies city life. It is right in front of Buckingham Palace, or should that be round the back of the palace? I have always been under the impression that St. James is towards the back of the palace but because that part of the palace is always the favourite, it has now become the default front!? Anyway, its is not very big and can get quite crowded during the summers. It is rectangular in shape, with a lake in the middle surrounded by luxurious trees and shrubs. Its is a sanctuary to birdlife as well as the mischievous squirrels I've seen scrambling around. What is it about St. James that makes me take the journey there so frequently? Well, I enjoy relaxing there. I could lay back on the grass and watch the sky and the surroundings without being disturbed. During the summer, it can get quite crowded. On weekends especially, I have seen people practice juggling, reading, having a picnic or just dozing off. Inevitable, at around every mid mornings, crowds of tourists make their way to the park. The fuss about the changing of the guards ... I mean they are just guards going about their duty. But as usual, the tourists insist on clicking their cameras, crowding around the poor guys, flashlights into their ...

Las Vegas 06/09/2003

Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas My husband and I decided to visit Las Vegas the last time we were in the USA. It was late May. Our visit coincided with the long Memorial weekend. We rented a car from Hertz, and 2-night accommodations in Best Western Tuscany hotel in Las Vegas. As always, we visited the tourist information centre before we set off for the day. There, we found some interesting places to visit, maps to obtain etc. For a 3-day visit, we had a great time. Native American Pow-Wow First day out, we followed instructions provided by the guide at the tourist information centre to the closest Pow-Wow near Las Vegas. It was a short drive into the wilderness. In the distance, we could just about see snow caps on the mountains. It felt rather strange to be driving in the hot sun and seeing the snow covered mountain. Anyway, we arrived at the Pow-wow. We discovered that it was a traditional native american festival of mainly dancing in very colourful costumes. Tents were gathered in circles, with stalls selling handicrafts on the outer circle, and tents sheltering the dancers were in the inner circle. The dancing was interesting. I admired the colourful costumes, shoes and especially the instinctive rhythmic touches of the dancers. The shoes looked like they were made from soft skin and very comfortable. The stalls were selling traditional handicrafts and I was totally blown away by the skin products of rabbits, foxes and turtles. I was tempted to buy some rabbit skins but was not ...

Original Source Tea Tree & Mint Shower Gel 07/08/2003

Fresh and minty

Original Source Tea Tree & Mint Shower Gel This tea tree and mint shower gel is quickly becoming my favourite. I have tried various shower gels in the past year, Olay's, Imperial leather, Nivea's and now this. After reading so much about it, I just had to try it for myself. The shower gel comes in a 250 ml bottle costing me 2.50 pounds at Tesco. It also comes in a 500 ml bottle with a pump. It has a black hook as a top which is useful for hanging the bottle in the shower. With a slight pull, the bottle comes away from the lid. A tiny squirt onto my sponge and I'm ready for an invigorating shower. Only problem is I find it difficult to stick the bottle back to its lid single-handed. I have yet to master it, even after several months of daily usage. Should you know of any tricks, please let me know. Of its list of ingredients, the shower gel contains three types of oil; tea tree, peppermint and lavender. And then there is the artificial colouring, to make this green. Why I ask? What for? I guess its for marketing purposes to make this product green which I think is a pity. I will still use this, whatever colour it is. So, do I like it? Yes I do like it. I find the scent strong and refreshing. The whole shower smells of peppermint during and after, especially my sponge. The mint in the gel really comes through very strong and lasting. Even a day after thoroughly washing out my sponge, I can still smell the mint from the shower gel. The texture of the gel is standard, nothing special. It lathers okay. Not ...

Mosi-guard. Natural Personal Insect Repellent 04/08/2003

Buzz Buzz no more (Updated 4th August 2003)

Mosi-guard. Natural Personal Insect Repellent Today I am going to write about Mosi-guard Natural. I believe there are two to three types of mosi-guard. There's the spray, cream and wipes. Here, I am going to write about the lotion/cream version. It is in the form of a 100 ml tube. From what I read, it is supposed to repel mosquitoes from me. It is useful for outdoor activities during the warmer temperatures. Especially during the warmer seasons (like now for example), the mosquitoes are out in force creating havoc to my enjoyment of nature. The cream works as an insect repellent. The difference between a personal insect repellent and those we used in our homes and gardens is that the personal one is less harmful because it contains less dangerous chemicals. I am not saying it is no longer harmful, but to a lesser extent. One has to apply the cream to exposed areas of the body. The assumption here is that insects will not penetrate through clothings. I would argue that it is possible that insect bites can penetrate clothes, especially thin silky, rayon or lycra type materials. Usually, I apply said cream to my face, neck, arms and legs. A thin non consistent layer would be sufficient. According to the instructions, it will give protection for 6 hours. The scent is faint and hard to describe. The closest I can think of is a combination of mint and eucalyptus. It smell sharp but faint. Not strong at all. Another nice thing about this cream is it doesn't stain. The cream is white and leaves no marks on any of my ...
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